Palestine 427

I am off to Baghdad on Sunday for an Arab League conference on Palestinian detainees held in Israel. This is part of my determination to devote more of my time to helping the Palestinian cause. It seems to me we are at a crucial point where the Palestinians are in genuine danger of an accelerated genocide, as Israeli intentions to annex Est Jerusalem and the West Bank become ever plainer.

In retrospect, my life has mostly been based on the idea that I may not be able to do much to help in a particular situation, but it is incumbent on me to try. So I am trying.

A “two state” solution has, from the start, been advanced in bad faith by promoters such as Blair and Bush, with the intention always that it would be a Bantustan solution. For those too young to recall, the grand plan of apartheid South Africa was that the black population would be corraled into a number of small regions which would become “independent states”.

I have said before that I am often pleasantly surprised by Sky News security correspondent Sam Kiley, who seems to get away with talking great sense by hiding behind a Ross Kemp style persona. A couple of days ago he reported from the West Bank that Israel was “moving towards an apartheid state”. There is no doubt that is true – even in Israel proper, there are over three hundred ethnically based Israeli laws prescribing different treatment for Jews and others, across almost every activity of the state. I fear Sam Kiley will not be on mainstream TV long – a tendency to tell the truth being career fatal.

Bibi’s desire to kill off the two state solution is a terrible, genocidal threat but strangely also an opportunity. Botha and De Klerk did not succeed, and Bibi may not either. I personally would have deplored a Bantustan based solution, with crammed and split Palestinian lands deprived of resources, water, communications and any hope of economic viability.

The ultimate solution must involve a proper single state in Israel/Palestine which is blind and fair in its laws to race and religion. That solution can ultimately bring security to the people of Israel, not based on their ability to kill or evict their neighbours and steal their land. The essentials of the agreement will have to be most people staying where they are – including most West Bank settlers – and very serious compensation to dispossessed Palestinians, with the settlements enlarged to become mixed communities.

On the Palestinian detainee question, for me it shows up yet again Israel’s extraordinary capacity for shameless sophistry in matters of international law. Israel justifies its naval blockade on the San Remo Convention, which is only applicable in times of armed conflict. Israel states that it is in a de facto permanent armed conflict. However it denies being in an armed conflict when it comes to its treatment of Palestinain detainees, captured outside Israel, who are not treated as prisoners of war. Both positions cannot be held simultaneously, but secure in the collusion of the West’s bought politicians, Israel does so.

427 thoughts on “Palestine

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  • nevermind

    First paragraph, east Jerusalem.

    Thank you very much for making this your next urgent priority, very much appreciated, many of us are with you on a single state solution, whatever its name should be. A resolution should be based on the resource economics that underlie both parties sustainable existence, water gas and arable land can be shared and that requires transitional agreements of sorts. I hope that you will give your own blog equal access to the information you offer to the press.

    My best wishes and take care.
    Baghdad is not the safest place to be right now, might be an idea to take some personal food rations.

  • Oniel Samuel

    “The ultimate solution must involve a proper single state in Israel/Palestine which is blind and fair in its laws to race and religion”

    Care to share with us where a country like this exists in the Middle East? Somehow, I don’t think you’ll find one. Neither, will you find the Jews of Israel welcoming a return to Dhimmi status any time soon. Sorry to disappoint you.

    “I may not be able to do much to help in a particular situation” – Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thankfully, you won’t be able to change anything

  • Fred

    Any solution without the consent of the people is no solution at all.

    In Scotland we are holding a referendum, why not do the same in Israel and Palestine, decide it democratically? Find out what the people want instead of the western powers squabbling over their destiny.

  • Ian M

    Craig, of course Oneil is. As an Israeli supporter you can’t not be in favour of apartheid style prejudice. The state is built on it.

  • Jeremy Hartley

    Craig, do you have any reference for your statement:

    ” ..even in Israel proper, there are over three hundred ethnically based Israeli laws prescribing different treatment for Jews and others, across almost every activity of the state.”

    I often raise this point in discussions with Israeli’s and they try to shoot it down as false. If I had some kind of reference it would help.

  • Mary

    @ Jeremy Hartley Jonathan Cook’s writings would be a good source of information for you. He lives within the belly of the beast, so to speak, as he is married to a Palestinian and lives in Nazareth. He was a Guardian journalist but got out of the corporate media propaganda machine.

  • glenn_uk

    An excellent and worthy undertaking, Craig. Although, I would be very surprised to see “the settlements enlarged to become mixed communities” – these “settlements” are comprised of the most radical, hate-filled zealots available from the entire world. They’ve been invited there from as far afield as New York and Russia, precisely to practice their brand of bigotry and racism. The more violently this is done, the better as far as they and the Likudnics are concerned.

    One hope as I see it is the backlash against the radical form of Judaism that is becoming more apparent. Where women should not use the same form of public transport, where females are not allowed to sing before anyone but their husbands, where yoga is considered an outrageous practice, and devout men where a form of blinkers, so they don’t have to have their eyes polluted by the sight of females.

    The most significant chance for Palestinians would be recognition with America that they are human beings, though. The chances of that are still slim as yet.

  • Oniel Samuel

    Well done Jeremy Hartley for pointing out that you spout out nonsense without even caring to find out if the nonsense is true. So long as it fits your agenda. If only all propagandists were so honest in their approach

  • Oniel Samuel

    Craig, no I am not. I applaud and respect your motives, but ultimately that is where our similarities end. I don’t believe it is even remotely realistic to assume that a one state solution could be the answer. The Israeli’s wouldn’t want it because in time it would spell the end of their freedom to live freely as Jews. One look around the Middle East can testify to that.

  • Fred

    And four million more votes living in refugee camps with a legal right of return.

    But either western governments stand for freedom and democracy or they don’t.

  • craig Post author


    “But either western governments stand for freedom and democracy or they don’t.”

    I fear the answer to that is deeply depressing. Western governments stand for the personal interest of the politicians who comprise them, by and large. And a very large percentage of them are quite openly sponsored by Israli interests.

  • Cryptonym

    Keep on this Craig, your instincts are right. Israel needs to come to the negotiating table with honest intent, determine their absolute borders, with a flourishing viable contiguous Palestine next door or better still one state one united people, Arab, European, Jewish, Muslim and all other permutations and combinations living together, equality, peace, truth and reconciliation. The Israeli right play on the majority’s fears of being over-run and annihilated. Offer Israeli citizens and their children, childrens children etc. unconditional Scottish, rUK or US or other citizenships of their choice in any hour of need, that no future governments can rescind, reassurance if they should ever be in or even feel the need of it, it is there. We can commit to take them all without complaint, as a fallback last resort in the unlikely event things went badly, and manage somehow, overcrowded on these islands as we are, if it would give them the reassurance to end their madness and killing. We need to undermine the Israeli right’s manipulation of ordinary people’s real and artificial fears. Though it has to be said we should admire and do have more in common with the stoic Palestinian Muslims than with the extremist Israelis such as the hard line settlers, who’d surely want to stay and assert their ‘right’ to other people’s land and homes, come what may.

  • Fred

    William Hague is certainly bought and paid for, yesterday in the House of Commons he said “I don’t believe there would be anywhere near a consensus nor is that our approach. We continue to try to bring both sides back to negotiations,”

    Perhaps he should be asked why democracy is good enough for us but not for Palsetinians.

  • Oniel Samuel

    Recommending Ben White is hardly a good thing. I know no one who is more able to polarise the issue further. Blindly supporting one side of the conflict will only prolong the status quo which is isn’t beneficial to either side.

    If you are all so adamant that the Palestinians are pro peace, please point me in the direction of a Palestinian peace movement. I can name 10 pro Palestinian, Israeli NGO’s without having to Google search it. Name ONE Palestinian equivalent.

  • Fred

    They killed over 3 million Iraqis since 1990 telling us they were bringing democracy to the Middle East. How come none of them are interested in bringing democracy to Israel?

  • Komodo

    The very best of luck, Craig. If you can make even a minute difference, that is a difference and that will be good. If changing the paranoid mindset promoted by the Zionists and their “Christian” Right allies is even possible, it won’t be done at once by a single initiative. Nor, I am sorry to say, can it be done entirely overtly. Softlee, softlee catchee monkey. I’m afraid you’ll have to use your diplomatic skills…:-)

    Oniel Thing – do remember the Palestinians have rather less freedom to organise legally than your mates on the border crossings. Face it, if you’re Palestinian and running a peace organisation, you’ve probably been snatched and jailed already. As a terrorist suspect, if they’ve bothered to actually charge you with something. It’s how apartheid always worked.

  • Oniel Samuel

    “William Hague is certainly bought and paid for” – Oh my, another conspiracy theorist. Must have been those Zio Nazi’s over at Aipac who paid him off

    I’ve just realised what type of blog I have fallen upon. I’ll leave you guys to it. Good luck in changing anyone’s opinion in a blog where your only participating audience already share your views

  • Venceremos

    “Care to share with us where a country like this exists in the Middle East? Somehow, I don’t think you’ll find one. Neither, will you find the Jews of Israel welcoming a return to Dhimmi status any time soon. Sorry to disappoint you.”

    Syria. Unlike Saudi Arabia, where Christian churches are banned and which is engaged in covert warfare with Syria, there are many Christian churches and places of worship for other religious groups in Syria. That is because the Assad Baathist regime was from its inception secular-nationalist in character and influenced by pan-Arabism, Nasserism and to a degree by pro-Soviet “Marxism” (i.e Stalinism). Yes, it is a dictatorship and the secret police, the Mukkhabarat, is much feared. However, there has been a long history of RELATIVE religious freedom since the Baathist’s came to power. It is enshrined in the Syrian constitution. This is why the Saudi and Qatari fundamentalist/Wahaabist regimes are so opposed to it. The war they are financing against Syria in cahoots with the repressed Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey and Western imperialism is actually a counter-revolution which will install a Muslim fundamentalist regime. God help the other non-Sunni/Salafist groups in Syria then.

    This is not to suggest that there is no internal, secular, democratic Arab Spring movement in Syria against dictatorship. There most certainly is. The key point is that it has been stifled, hi-jacked and side-lined by the externally bank-rolled armed intervention which is in fact a counter-revolution in the sense that it is against secular-nationalist religious toleration. The SNC and FSA have demobilised the Arab Spring mass movement by calling for people to stay off the streets. And it is of course very dangerous to demonstrate in the streets in the middle of a war-zone.

    George Galloway’s podcast on Syria makes similar points more eloquently and is worth watching.

  • nevermind

    Going by Avi Shalims book and Pappe’s work, a demilitarisation of the civilian populations should find a place on a future agenda, leaving a mutual police to enforce justice.

    Roadblocks and walls have to be dismantled and new quotas for equal access to water/gas resources guaranteed whilst a peace and reconciliation mission, as happened in SA would not be misplaced.
    Regional infrastructure improvements such as a major port development for the 1.6 million living in Gaza at present, their right to generate their own electricity, as others have in the southern EU, as well as equal access to housing for all/legitimate property rights could form part of the time frame of discussions.

    One serious part of the first discussions should include Israel/Palestinian security with its neighbours, the Golan heights and Sheeba farms are essential to this debate, they are the essential reasoning behind Hezbollah’s involvement in hostile activities.

    Once peace treaties with Lebanon and Syria have been agreed, the army should be stood down from civilian duties and inhumane roadblock politics outlawed by mutual consent.

    But we are a tad too optimistic here from the comfort of our keyboards.

    Oniel, if there are two states, massive walls and no respect for one sides long standing property rights, wells and arbitrating justice that is final, we will see confrontations at every turn. Settlers have to be disarmed if you want to live in peace with the other state, East Jerusalem would have to be given up to Palestine and these arguments and discussions have gone round in circles for far too long.

    If a two state solution is adopted, this will be no solution at all, but a perpetuation of the current hostilities which would flare up again and again.

    Israel/Palestine’s contract will have to instil a peaceful future for all, because public opinion is against war and for better relations with the neighbours, Both factions have to think of future generations, provide hope and employment for their children.

    Schooling them together and reneging the negative propaganda on both side will have to be part of it as well, would you not agree Oniel?

  • Fred

    Iran breaks no laws yet they have crippling sanctions placed on them, Israel thumbs their nose at the UN and America gives them the guns to shoot Palestinians while Britain sells them the bullets.

    Sounds like some sort of conspiracy to me.

  • porkfright

    The very best of luck Craig. Monday I sat switching from ZBC to Sky News at the time the Israeli Ambassador was due to turn up at the Foreign Office. Sky made due substance of it. ZBC appeared to be avoiding the story at all costs. I expected at one point that they would run a report of a man losing a guinea pig in Watford. Eventually they sort of reported it. And we pay for this biased crap.

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